First Smart Center launched in Dar

Imperial Innovations has launched a state-of-the-art tech startup in Tanzania specialized in developing custom hardware and software solutions.

The centre will pay special focus embedded System design, artificial intelligence and machine, machine learning and IoT.

They provide complete solution from prototypes to finished products with the aim to provide comprehensive, competitive and innovative solutions to suit various business requirements.

Speaking in Dar es Salaam, Imperial Innovations Managing Director Murtaza Ebrahim said ‘I started the tech startup back in 2016/2017– with the idea to change how marketing was done in traditional ways, especially when it came to customer engagements, brands used outdated mechanics which were not impactful, this gap led to the idea to establish a tech company that will solve Marketing and Customer service challenges for businesses making it more interactive and impactful using various technologies.

The start was definitely very tough as hardly people believed in us, or wanted to try the “new” way of marketing and customer engagement. I kept investing my time and recourses from 2017 – 2020, and persistently kept fighting the odds, rejections with the aim of doing this and making sure these unique ideas were accepted’.

Fast forward to 2020 when Covid hit, I saw businesses struggling to get the right solutions, be it simple sanitizer dispensing machine, that is when I saw another gap in the eco system that most of the companies focused on software development, no one talked about hardware development.

Most of the solutions (Hardware) was imported into the country especially China, South Africa, India and so on, but the hardware customization was nothing near to be a reality in Tanzania. Imported hardware always makes businesses 100 per cent dependent on the foreign companies who charge a fortune on upgrades and integrations, but when done local we are able to not only customize, but provide all sorts of integration such as local payments and government institutions such as TRA.

“I saw this as an opportunity, just post covid in early November 2020, I got together a team of hardware developers from Mbeya University and UDOM and ordered our first batch of electronic components from China and we started prototyping various products as part of our learning and R&D to understand our strengths and weaknesses on where we can improve.

In just 6 months we were able to develop various products and systems such as – Self Dispensing Machines, Touch Screens, Digital Kiosks, Smart Water meters, Tablets, POS Machines, IoT Trackers, Scanners for factories for inventory regulation and digital signages.

By end of 2021, we had decided to scale some of the solutions we had and build a credible electronic brand that was local and compete with international brands and that led to birth of MORAN.

MORAN SMART CENTER will work as a one stop center for businesses to bring their problems. Our team will assist in analyzing the problem and provide a tailor-made hardware and software solution.

Murtaza adds that technology and ecosystems that transforms ideas and fledgling companies into disruptive businesses are growing globally.

‘Africa enjoys a fertile environment for tech entrepreneurs due to the continent’s youthful and growing population, rising internet penetration, and the application of emerging technologies that have the potential to improve access to healthcare, financial services, education, and energy.

As such, Tanzania and a country has also seen the growth of tech startups. It is our hope that our government will see the challenges and structural barriers denying these firms’ further growth, and policy recommendations to overcome these obstacles and support our upcoming firms in tech start up develop into innovation hubs.

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